Introduction: We hypothesized that fruit/vegetable intake and eating behaviors mediate the relationship between experimental condition and weight loss in a randomized trial evaluating a text-message based weight loss program. Methods: Overweight/obese individuals from San Diego, CA (N=52 with complete data) were randomly assigned in 2007 into one of two groups for four months: 1) the intervention group that received 2-5 weight management text-messages p/day; 2) the usual-care comparison group. Three 24-hour recalls assessed fruit/vegetable intake change and the eating behavior inventory (EBI) measured change in eating behaviors. Regression path models tested intervention mediation. Results: Direct effects of the intervention were found for change in body weight (b=-3.84, R2=0.074), fruit/vegetable intake (b=2.00, R2=0.083), and EBI scores (b=7.15, R2=0.229) (ps<0.05). The treatment group to weight change path was not statistically significant (b=-0.673, R2=0.208) when fruit/vegetable intake change and EBI score change were specified as intervention mediators in the model. The total indirect effect was 3.17lb indicating that the indirect paths explained 82.6% of the total effect on weight change. Discussion: Fruit/vegetable intake and eating behaviors mediated the intervention's effect on weight change. The findings suggest that sending text-messages that promote healthy eating strategies resulted in moderate short-term weight loss.
- Health behavior
- Mobile phone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health